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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some random thoughts on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and the American Right

I just finished reading Wikipedia's entry about Julian Assange and I was quite surprised by its length.  For somebody which the corporate media describes as "mysterious" or a person "about which very little is known", Assange's entry in Wikipedia has a lot of information indeed.  The second thing which surprised me that it turns out that Assange has for many years been a developer of free software with a clear interest in developing applications which could be used in the defense of human rights and civil rights.  Lastly, I had no idea that the guy had received some pretty high profile and prestigious rewards.  All in all, I see no reason to doubt that Assange is exactly what he claims to be - a guy motivated by a desire to change the way the world operates.  Sure, a simple gut feeling is hardly the proof of anything, but to me he sure does not look like somebody's nefarious mole.

As for the latest revelations from Wikileaks, I am rather unimpressed by them.  They are exactly what I would expect to see in the diplomatic chatter of US diplomats, most of which have a pathetically low understanding of the countries they work in, and whose half assed opinions are more an expression of their parochial view of the world than of any kind of real understanding.  Thus the fact that many these leaks would parrot Israeli propaganda is really of no surprise to me and I don't see any signs of some Israeli strategic psyop here.  That does not mean that it's not there, of course, only that I do not see it (yet?).

What I do not understand at all is why Wikileaks is releasing 200 documents here, another 300 there, when the total amount is reported to be about 250'000 documents.  Neither do I understand why Assange and his friends are not releasing the documents they have obtained from a major US bank, reportedly Bank of America.  They would have been far better off offloading the entire thing on the Internet in one big release and then sit back, relax, and watch all the fallout.  Maybe they are trying to maximize the effect of each release, but in that case they are committing a crucial mistake: their role is to release, not to spin the info they get.

Another thing which amazes me is the utterly insane and blood-thirsty crap the Republicans have been spewing about how Assange should have been garroted in his hotel, killed by a drone strike or treated like a Taliban.   Some morons even want to classify Wikileaks as a terrorist organization.  Add to this 'Evil Joe' getting involved in all that and demanding that Amazon spot hosting Wikileaks on its servers (they complied), and you get the message: the Republican Party has clearly become a party of delusional psychopaths totally out of touch with reality and with not a shred of civilization, nevermind decency or common sense, left in them.  Oh, I know, the Democrats are not much better, but at least they try to *appear* better, and that in itself shows that they do cater to a very different crowd.  Add to this the surreal debate in Congress about cutting benefits while extending tax breaks for the hyper-rich and it becomes clear that the Republican Party stands for clear, unapologetic, evil.  The really scary thing is, of course, the an increasing number of Americans seem to like that or, at least, to prefer that to the spineless lying Democrats.  Either way, Fascism is alive and well in the US of A.

[Speaking of Fascism, the entire uproar about the TSA's porno-scanners and genitalia-foundling practices has died down.  Uncle Sam 1, general public 0.  As expected.]

The Saker


jack said...

Wikipedia just gives brief backgrounds of people listed but the question is how exactly was he able to financially support himself and travel abroad.
Know who else travel Kenya and who gave computer access to an associate of Moussaoui?

Mossad intelligence asset Nick Berg.

“Mr. Berg’s e-mail password was obtained by an associate of Zacarias Moussaoui,” the New York Times reported in the wake of Berg’s death. “FBI agents interviewed Mr. Berg in 2002 and came away convinced that he had either shared the password with someone who passed it on to Mr. Moussaoui or that the password had been stolen from him.”

As his business grew, Mr. Berg began plotting ways to resume his work in developing nations. With the help of the American Jewish World Service, he visited Kenya for two weeks in March 2003, working on water projects and pledging to return in the summer of 2004.

Yes I know that proves zero but until I know more about his background and connections and revelations that don’t advance the US agenda then I am not buying the “legend”.

That free software he helped develop could have built in spyware that help track hackers using it.
Would be a good way to get good info on the underground hacker community.

Republicans moaning is part of the course of cartoon political spectacle in the US and things "revealed" so far support the US agenda if you actually know what that is and it is not Iran.

It is why we have this latest development in Korea with North and South as well as our involvement and sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan with future increased presence in Central Asia.

Off topic but this is an interesting article that US drug network operating in Columbia and Venezuela is trying to put the blame on Chavez as running an international drug trafficking network.


jack:That free software he helped develop could have built in spyware that help track hackers using it.
Would be a good way to get good info on the underground hacker community.

Since free software is also, by definition, open source, free software is the ultimate non-spyware. And a hacker is not a cracker.

Carlo said...

It seems that someone has already had the idea of trying to profit from the leaked documents to justify a war against Iran:


@Carlo: the very idea that Iran would ever want to target any part of Europe with any type of missile is such raving lunacy that I do believe that the very fact that this topic is seriously discussed is an giant Israeli propaganda variation on the "straw man". I mean, seriously, why the %^#$%@ would Iran ever want to target Europe?! This is utterly ridiculous and any suggestion to the contrary should be met with hysterical laughter.

Of course, by even discussing such nonsense we are de-facto putting the Iranian in the same category as the loonies in Pyongyang.

Even more relevantly, this obfuscates a far more interesting issue: why is *Israel* developing long range missile capabilities?

Anyway, the Ziomedia wants us to believe that we are all about to die in a rain of Iranian nuclear missiles and it sure looks to me like a lot of people are taking this vapid nonsense very seriously.

Ha! The "Wikileaks" even had Ahmadinejad as the "new Hitler". But wait, I thought that the new Hitler was Saddam?

And Bibi continues to warn: 'they' want to kill six million Jews again. I just can't wait to hear about Iranian Zyklon B stocks or some Iranian 'defector' telling us all that the Pasdaran are building gas chambers and crematoria. LOL!

Now let's all mantrically begin chanting "never again! never again!" and watch how the Empire attacks Iran for "humanitarian" reasons or for another 9/11 or some crap like that...

Anyway, Carlo what do you make of Assange and his leaks? Do you have any ideas of what they chose such a bizarre "slow release" technique?

Kind regards!

The Saker

Carlo said...

"Anyway, Carlo what do you make of Assange and his leaks? Do you have any ideas of what they chose such a bizarre "slow release" technique?"
Sorry, I've been quite busy the last 2 weeks, and most what I know about this subject I got from your blog, so by now I don't have an opinion of my own.


@Carlo: hope that all is well with you!

jack said...

Do you still think Wikileaks is legitimate?

Wikileaks claims Georgian conflict started with South Ossetians attacking Georgian village.

Keep in mind the Georgian defence minister is an Israeli who organised the disastrous war in Lebanon in 2006

Actually I wish I kept the link with the book about Georgian conflict that David Glantz contributed to.

Carlo said...

Yes, everything is fine. Just that, with the new job, I have to learn a lot of new things also.


@jack:Do you still think Wikileaks is legitimate?

Actually, your post came in while I was reading various SECRET and SECRET/NOFORN cables and I have to say that I was extremely amused by them. They are simply *packed* with cliche sentences, absolutely propagandistic characterizations, zealously biased interpretations, baseless allegations, etc, etc, etc. That is *exactly* the kind of bullshit which I would expect from the US diplomatic corps (most of which cannot even speak the language of the country they are stationed in). So yes, the more I read the crap, the more I think its real, actually. The authors of these cables clearly seem be believe their own propaganda.


@Carlo: hang in there. I am starting a new job in a couple of weeks too, so I will soon have the same challenges :-)

Anonymous said...

1. the strategy is to draw out the coverage over a few weeks -- and to hopefully prevent the media from dropping the ball after 24 hours. it's a new strategy; we'll see if it works. remember that wikileaks is a very young phenomenon. it is a work in progress.

2. while the cables contain a lot of gossip as well as the internalized propaganda of mid level diplomats, they also contain many bombshells, which explains the vociferous response of Washington. the info on yemen, germany, lebanon, pakistan, saudi arabia, and the UAE is all very important. there is more to come.

3. the brilliance of wikileaks is that it is fully exposing the tyranny of the state and the corporate-political elite everywhere -- and their hatred of democracy, transparency and accountability. It is also giving us a sense of how it is now truly possible to have 'perfect information', in which case the rest of us no longer need to accept authoritarian governments and oppressive systems of economy. these can be dissolved by a genuine system of direct democracy. it is up to us to make this happen. a revolution of possibly world historical importance is beginning.

jack said...


In reference to point 2 like what?

Robert said...

What is likely though as a mitigation strategy is that the CIA has sought to subvert the wikileaks process, feeding in their own misinformation along with the real stuff.